Matthew 22:1 - 14
ESV - 1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying. 2 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.
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Jesus told the Parable of the Wedding Feast in Matthew 22:1-14. This parable is similar in some ways to the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24), but the occasion is different, and it has s...
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This was an unusual happening for all people, good or bad, in the highways--to be invited to such a wonderful banquet. Kings usually gave the most magnificent feasts, which, under ordinary circumstances, would attract every person invited. The reasons for so many not accepting the invitation here are not given, but one thing stands out very clearly: the king was not popular with his subjects and they dreaded to face him. The king, not to be outdone, was determined to fill the feast-chamber with guests, and sent for anyone his servants could find, regardless of social position or condition as to clothes. The poorer classes would not have festive apparel, and they were therefore provided for by the king from his own extensive wardrobe. This is one of the most interesting details of the parable. It was a special mark of honor to receive a garment which had been used by royalty, and kings sometimes showed their liberality by giving freely to others whom they sought to honor. It was customary for hosts to come in and see their guests after they were assembled (Lk. 14:10). Sometimes garments were provided for all guests and it was an insult of the highest degree to refuse to use the garments provided. In this case the king (not God) provided the garments, so this has nothing to do with the righteousnes of the saints of Rev. 19:7-10. The king sent the insulting guest into prison and torment to pay for his crime aganst his ruler. This is part of the point illustrated, teaching again the punishment of those who reject Christ (Mt. 8:12; 11:20-24; 13:40-50; 24:51; 25:41-46). For many are called, but few are chosen. This is the point illustrated by the parable. See Mt. 20:16. All are called to salvation (Mt. 11:28; Jn. 3:16; Rev. 22:17), but few will finally be saved (Mt. 7:13-14 Lk. 13:23-30).
In my view the parable of the wedding feast is directed to the church i.e. those that have verbally accepted the call of Christ and joined His church. The invitation went to "guests". They refused because they had other "important" things to do. Their response we must note did not change the wedding date. Whether they refused or accepted there was still going to be a wedding on that date. We understand the wedding to be the second coming of Jesus. All those professing to be christian today fall into the group of guests to whom the first call went. I am sure because they had gotten so familiar with the King, they thought it expedient to turn down the invitation. I am sure they had never seen the King angry and they assumed that this King was not going to punish them for their lack of respect. So they turned Him down. Under normal circumstances an invitation form a King is a great honour, one to be accepted with both hands with much gratitude. Some of us have been "christians" since birth. We have heard that Jesus is coming again since we were born. We have heard Paul and Peter's writing that Jesus' return is imminent. The fact is He has "delayed" in coming and we have told ourselves that He will never come. We then become complacent and turn wordly. Things that our forefathers frowned at we now embrace as "modern christians". We forget that we ought to be grateful, that when we were yet sinners Christ felt pity for us and came to save us by dying on the cross. Without His death and sacrifice on the cross we were doomed. We then take lightly the salvation brought to us at such cost! The invited guests were supposed to accept the invitation and prepare to come to the feast because they already had the wedding garments. All they needed to do was to come. Not only did they fail to come, they seized the servants of the King and murdered them to ensure that the message did not go far! Such people justifiably deserved to be destroyed as murderers. The King did not just kill them. He also destroyed their city. God will not only destroy the unrepentant sinner when Jesus comes again, this earth too will be destroyed in a fire. The judgment for those who were in leadership positions in the Christian movement will be harsh. By not accepting the invitation, they are actually stiffling its growth! They are a liability to Christianity. This is a very serious indictment to all of us to check ourselves and see if we are not standing in the way of the advancement of the gospel. If we are, then we are destined to be destroyed and our cities burned!
This is a man not in proper "wedding clothing" and is removed from the wedding feast (Christ taking his bride the Church). When we obey the Gospel of Hearing, Believing, Confessing, Repenting and being baptized for the remission of sins we are added into the Church by God. Acts 2:40-42, Acts2:47 "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls." They were added! When you are baptized you "put on Christ" Galatians 3:27 "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." So you are "clothed in Christ" when you obey the Gospel, then you will have the proper wedding feast garments on. Mark 16:16 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
The Parable of the Wedding Feast, Matthew 22:1-14, is a story of a feast held by a king for his son. Many of the invitees foolishly refused to come when the time came. Some of them mistreated and killed the messengers, a grievous insult to the king. The enraged king destroyed the murderers and burned up their city. This symbolizes the wedding feast God the Father is preparing for His Son. The rejectors were eventually destroyed by Rome and the city of Jerusalem burned in AD 70. Those invited after this are present-day believers, Jews as well as Gentiles. But at the banquet, a man shows up not wearing the wedding garment. Most expositors hold that this man was not saved. However, he had responded to the invitation and was present in the banquet signifying favor. The fact that the king addressed him as “friend” shows he was already a welcomed guest, but for some reason he failed to change in appropriate attire for the special event. This is not the same as the garment of salvation, but a garment for the wedding, likely the same as Revelation 19:8. He pictures a believer who was careless in how he lived. When the king demanded why he was not dressed correctly, he had no excuse. This illustrates the Judgment Seat of Christ, I Corinthians 3:13-15, when some of the believers will have no defense for some things they have done. It is mistakenly thought this man was cast into hell. Although he was expelled into the darkness, there is no hint of punishment in flames of fire. Instead, the person is thrust from the light and joy of the banquet hall (not the kingdom). Also, the gnashing of teeth does not picture hell, but the extreme agonizing regret and sorrow he felt in disappointing his king and losing the privilege to share in the momentous occasion. This is also the sense of Matthew 8:12 (compare 13:38 for “sons of the kingdom”) and the servants in Matthew 25:28-30. The parable ends with, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” The “many” are those who respond to the invitation, and the “few” are a special class, not those randomly chosen by God, as many understand it. The Greek word is “eklectos” (and its related forms) which has wrongly been transliterated as “elect” and translated “chose.” The comparable word in English is “eclectic,” meaning something selected because of its inherent quality. The “few” are ones who qualify due to honorable behavior and works of righteousness. The better rendering is “the choice one.” Then, the phrase can be better translated, “Many are the invited ones, but few are the choice ones.” The man without the garment is saved, having responded to the call, but not one of the few choice ones in the Lord’s favor. The parable portrays the celebration of those with Jesus at His wedding feast, but some will be denied this joy because they have not been faithful in producing good works.
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